23 October 2014

Concluding Bats

This week we finished our study of bats by completing a bat facts book which included activities such as identifying how birds and bats are alike/different, recording how bats are helpful/harmful, discussing how bat mothers care for their young and writing and illustrating our favorite bat fact.  We loved learning about how bats use echolocation to find insects at night.

We have been working on handwriting of the letters b, i, l, and p.  So far this year our handwriting has covered the letters:  t, h, a, d, g, x, b, i, l, and p.  You will see these letters on homework practice as well as in words that can be sounded out and our month's sight words.  Practice writing the numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3, 4 and 5.

We have started our ongoing study of patterns.  Students are learning that a pattern is something that repeats over and over.  They are beginning to build their own patterns and to identify what will be next in a pattern created by someone else.  Look for patterns everywhere, they are all around -- we can even listen for patterns too!

In math we have also been practicing identifying more/less when comparing numbers or objects.  Students are also getting good at figuring out how many is two more/two less when given a numeral or amount of objects.

We are working hard on writing our own stories.  By now students should be able to write with spaces between their words and use some type of punctuation mark at the end of their sentences.  They should also be able to get at least a beginning sound for each word in their story and also adding ending sounds for words as well.  Keep writing with your child at home!
Thank you to all the parents we were able to meet with this week.  We appreciate all you do at home to help your child at school.

Pumpkinland Field Trip:  Tuesday, October 28th we will be going on a field trip to Vineyard Nursery in Orem.  We will be outside the entire time so please dress your child appropriately for the weather.

Halloween Parade:  Friday, October 31st we will be having a morning Halloween parade at 11:15am.  Your child may wear his/her costume throughout the day.  The afternoon students will participate in the school wide parade at 1:30pm.

09 October 2014

Going Batty

October has begun and we have started learning all about bats!  We are just beginning our bat study and have already asked questions about bats and have begun to read some non fiction books to learn about bats.  We will continue learning about bats and creating a "Bat Facts" book to record some of the information we learn throughout the month.

Students have been working on the handwriting of the letters g, x,  and b this week.  Please continue to work on handwriting at home with your student.  We have also worked on the sounds of letters x, q, u, y and w.  Along with letter sounds we have continued practicing phonemic awareness skills of syllables, beginning sounds and rhyming.

In mathematics we have been working on sorting a variety of objects.  Continue working on sorting various objects at home and also have your child talk about how he/she sorted.  It is important that students can have a conversation about mathematical skills such as sorting to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the skill.  Therefore, having your child explain his/her sorting rule to you or being able to explain why an item belongs in a certain group is just as necessary as the action of sorting.

We will be focusing this month on the reading comprehension strategy of schema.  Schema is using background knowledge to make connections to the text being read.  (Check out our literacy tab above for more information.)  We are learning about text to self connections, text to text connections and text to world connections.

Thank you for continuing to complete handwriting homework each week as well as reading with your child.  You should have received the kindergarten October reading calendar to keep track of the minutes read throughout the month.  The difficult task this month is for students to learn their address!  Thanks for your help with this core card skill.  Several exciting activities are coming up this month:  a field trip on October 28th to Pumpkinland and the Halloween Parade on October 31st (11:15 am for the AM students and 1:30 pm for the afternoon students).  Plan on attending SEP (parent ) conferences on October 22nd or 23rd.  Please use the online process to schedule your appointment or contact the front office for assistance. 

04 October 2014

October Upcoming Events

Picture Retake Day:  Wednesday, October 1st

Fall Break (no school):  Thursday, October 16th and Friday, October 17th

SEPs (parent conferences):  Wednesday, October 22nd from 2:40 pm-8:30 pm & Thursday, October 23rd from 8:10-11:00am (as per online scheduled appointment- contact the front office with any questions).

No AM Kindergarten:  Due to SEP conferences there will be no Kindergarten held in the morning of October 23rd.

No School:  October 24th 

Pumpkinland Field Trip:  Tuesday, October 28th  We will be outside the whole time enjoying the farm so please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather.  Students will attend their regularly scheduled kindergarten session.

Halloween Parade:  Friday, October 31st  The morning students will have their parade at 11:15am and the PM kindergarten students will join in the school wide parade at 1:30 pm.  Students are welcome to wear their costumes to school on that day.  Please no masks, weapons or gory costumes.

29 September 2014

Picture Retake Day

Reminder:  Picture retake day will be on Wednesday, October 1st.

26 September 2014

Ants, Butterflies & Spiders

This week our classes have been learning about ants, butterflies or spiders.  Our goal in our "buggy" study is to introduce students to the process of research and how to gain information from non fiction books and other sources.  We began our study  by first talking about and writing on a chart all the things we all ready know about the bug.  Then we thought of questions that we wanted to research.

After that we read non fiction books and fiction books about ants, butterflies, and spiders, we observed live ants, butterflies and spiders in our classrooms, we observed bugs outside on our school grounds and looked on the internet to see other kinds of bugs in action.  Next week we will continue our study and put our questions and answers into our own fact book.  Ask your child their favorite fact they learned about the bug they studied in their class.  You may want to observe ants, butterflies or spiders and do more research with your child at home.

We worked on the handwriting of the letters d and g this week.  Please, please continue to work on handwriting of your child's name and the letters t, h, a, d, and g.  Handwriting practice in addition to the handwriting homework should be completed to help improve this skill.  Again, an adult should be with your child watching for correct formation during the handwriting practice.  We also focused on sounds of the letters m, f, n, s, p, z, a, t, b, v, e, d, j and l.

Phonemic awareness practice is also part of our daily routine.  We have been working on clapping and identifying the number of syllables in words, identifying rhyming words and identifying beginning sounds of spoken words.

24 September 2014

Wetlands Field Trip

 We had a wonderful time on our first field trip of the year. A huge THANK YOU to all the great moms and dads who were able to help out and make the experience so successful. We expanded our class discussions of things we find outside and reminded the students how we use our five senses to learn about the world around us. Our students were able to engage in many different activities at the park:
  • We examined pond water looking for live critters!  We found some tiny tadpoles and insects in the water.  We talked about if we would want to drink the water from the pond or not.  There was lots of moss, grass and dirt in the water.  While at the pond we observed many ducks.  They were swimming in the water and looking for bugs to eat on the shore.  We also saw lots of colorful dragonflies.
  • We also used binoculars to look at the mountains and to find birds flying in the sky.  It was fun being able to to see things that were far away up close.
  • At the park there were many different kinds of trees.  We compared the types of leaves and needles we saw on each of the trees.  We talked about what it would feel like to be a tree and stretch our "branches" up to the sky.  We also felt the bark on the trees and discussed how it protects the tree.
  • It was fun walking on the boardwalk and looking at the wetlands area.  We were able to watch carefully and see spiders in their webs, water skippers on the water, tiny fish swimming, and lots of different types of grasses.  We even used our sense of hearing to listen to a bunch of croaking frogs.  
  • We tallied the different types of animals we were able to see while at the park.  We didn't see any reptiles but we did see lots of insects and birds.
  • We even used our sense of taste to eat a gummy treat at the end of the day.  We loved our field trip!

22 September 2014

In Our Backyard

We had another great week in kindergarten.

In focusing on the importance of reading we had discussions about what readers do and why we read.  We made a list of "reading behaviors" such as sharing a favorite book with a friend, looking at the pictures and words, talking about books after reading and expressing an opinion about the book and reading books to get information and learn things.   Students are coming to understand the importance of reading and how it can have a positive impact on their lives.  They have already learned how much their teachers and even our principal LOVE reading all kinds of books.  Continue to be an example at home and point out to your child all the times you read and the different types of print materials you read.

We have been learning about our five senses and how they help us learn about the world around us.  Ask your child to tell you his/her five senses.  In addition to our five senses we have been reading about and exploring things we can see in our backyard, the park, the canyon and the mountains.  We read the book Right Outside My Window by Mary Ann Hoberman and then went outside to observe all the things we could see outside.

After we looked at the grass, trees, flowers, mountains, birds, sky and sun we illustrated and labeled some of the things we observed.  We also put this information on class and individual five senses charts.  Our students are already beginning to show their knowledge of how print carries meaning as well as some beginning phonics as students were encouraged to write at least a beginning sound to match their illustration.